The British band Colour Me Wednesday have just released their new album “Counting Pennies in the Afterlife”. It is a wonderful album with a clear message, a strong & positve sound and filled with narratives about personal life, politics, and gender issues. On Saturday, 26th of May, they will be playing at the Mini Festival: Kaffeeshock at Haus Mainusch in Mainz.
CMW Answers: H is Harriet Doveton, J is Jennifer Doveton, L is Laura Ankles.
The opening song “Sunriser” of your brand-new album “Counting Pennies in the Afterlife” (2018) includes the line “Your mistakes are protected and I am supposed to be strong again”. How could this line function in context of the #metoo debate and what is your take on that whole discussion?
H: That song isn’t about the #metoo debate, obviously but… it’s about not being able to express emotions like anger and sadness because your partner/ex is putting pressure on you to be the mentally stable one. If I were to link it to issues of gender in a wider context, I guess a lot of women are expected to be emotional caretakers for men which does tie in to a lot of the issues in the song.
J: Sexual assault is prevalent in many industries. The film industry has a handful of people with a concentrated amount of power and influence which goes unchecked. If we look at the music industry, it’s mostly unregulated. This can make fans, musicians and other people in the industry much more vulnerable to assault.
As a band, you have a strong opinion related to the power and rights of women. What incident or person inspired you to carry out this theme / your message via music?
L: I guess for me it’s not so much a question of one significant event. It’s more to do with growing up under patriarchy and slowly coming to the realisation that it affects a lot of your life as someone who is not male.
Your album sounds very confident and positive, your songs reflect a belief in one’s strength and voice. How are you able to maintain this mentality, despite inner and outer struggle?
J: If you’re bothering to record something for posterity, it ought to be strong and clear-headed, maybe? I feel like there is no song on this record which is positive, overall, or even that doesn’t contradict itself in some way. “Disown” is an example of a song that seems to contradict itself. I do like to think of myself as maintaining a kind of strength for the benefit of other people, my loved ones, my friends, and fans – if I fall apart and say it’s not worth carrying on then how can I tell them they should carry on?
At first, I understood the song “Take what you want and then leave” as a classic break-up song – collecting all books, letters and cds that your partner left at your house and give it back to him/her – take what you want and then leave. How can this line be understood considering your general critic on capitalism?
J: “Take What You Want and then Leave” could be about a break-up. I think Harriet and I have both felt we ‘gave’ a lot to our previous partners, in emotional energy, money and support. And we wouldn’t change that – so what we have to do is accept that we give a lot, we open our homes and hearts to people and sometimes, they’re going to take advantage, sometimes they are going to be ungrateful, sometimes they are going to take a little bit too much. But then we expanded on this idea – because we feel like it is a Tory mentality – to benefit from the work of others and then call yourself a self-made man or to strip a country of its public services because you are too rich to really need them.
You will play at Haus Mainusch on May 26th. What do you know about this place?
H: We don’t know anything about this place, we are excited and we love surprises, we hope there’s nice soft drinks and clean toilets. Ha ha. We are looking forward to seeing our friends in Austeros.
What do you think about the relation of places of subculture and mainstream society?
J: I always saw myself as an outsider because I was considered a weirdo in school. I don’t know why, I just was. But now I feel like I relate more to mainstream society in some ways than subcultures. This might be because really I’m a working class girl and a lot of alternative subcultures are full of middle class white kids who I can’t really relate to.
L: The greatest day of my life was when I saw System of a Down.
H: I’m aware we fit into a kind of niche scene musically, which you could call a subculture. But yes I feel at this age a lot of what comes with that doesn’t resonate with real life to me. It’s like all the theory is there but in practice I’m not connecting but I still appreciate that subcultures are still important for education and an escape from normie culture, especially for LGBT people for example.
Photo: Colour Me Wednesday Press